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Tristitia the Tengu

Tristitia Tengu the bird

She offers her wisdom of word:

Your sorrow will wane

Find courage in pain,

Lamenting is meant to be heard.

Favorable For: Trouble, Secrecy, Curses, Wisdom

Unfavorable For: Health, Success, Forgiveness

Associations: Saturn and Aquarius

Elements: Air and Earth.

Latin Translation: Tristitia = Sorrow

The Tengu are found in Japanese folklore. Their physical appearance suggests a half-human, half-bird, animal hybrid. They have a darkness in their nature. There are tales depicting them as aggressive or as classic fairy-tale child-stealers. They are also known to be great warriors and highly skilled in martial arts.

The fierce Tristitita the Tengu can be very startling. She is ready for battle and has resigned herself to whatever fate she might meet. It is true that Tristitia the Tengu flies most gracefully alongside the storm. And it is tempting to see her appearance as nothing but a very bad omen. Tristitia the Tengu would not quarrel with you about the terror of the storm; but she would argue for the beauty to be found in that powerful force of nature. Tristitia the Tengu would not say that everything has a reason – storms come without warning or reason. Likewise, terrible things happen to good people without any purpose or reason at all. But meaning and purpose can grow in the aftermath. The storms we weather in life can lead to wisdom. The personal sorrow we experience today can transform into compassion for others tomorrow.

Compassion is of great importance to Tristitia the Tengu. If you wish to solicit her to impart to you her mastery of martial arts, you will have to understand the difference between a fighter and a warrior. The fighter fights only for himself; the warrior, in contrast, knows compassion. Therefore, Trisititia the Tengu would be a most favorable omen for people in the occupation of soldier, police officer, or protector, or even for a young college student about to leave home for the first time to build knowledge and pursue their calling.

It should also be noted that after a terrible storm has passed, survivors regroup and rebuild. There is a grounding and healing energy associated with Trisititia the Tengu. She can be an omen that one is reaching a point of stability. That stable energy can also be favorable for keeping information stationary as well. If you are worried about a secret getting into the wrong hands, Trisitita the Tengu offers assurance that the secret will stay exactly where you choose to place it.

However, her aggressive and dark nature cannot be ignored. Her truth may be one of face value and the omen she offers may be only sorrow. It may be that her message is that trouble lies ahead. Take only a moment to panic, and then make your plan to face it with a will to survive.

Leshiis For Literacy

Laetitia the Leshii had some difficulty finding some selections. However, Tristitia the Tengu agreed that the resources mentioned capture her spirit (and especially that darker nature!). If you have read any books about Tengu not featured on this list, please email me!


  • Lasky, Kathryn. The Guardians of Ga'Hoole (Book Series). Scholastic.

Recommended reading age: 7 years and beyond.

Non-Fiction Resources

  • Briggs, Katharine. The Vanishing People: Fairy Lore and Legends. Pantheon Books. 1978.

  • Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. 2000.

  • Rosen, Brenda. The Mythical Creatures Bible: The Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings. New York: Sterling Publings. 2009

  • Young, Simon and Ceri Houlbrook. Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies, 500 AD to the Present. London: Gibson Square 2018

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